Psychologists are experts in helping people cope with the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that accompany chronic pain. They may work with individuals and families through an independent private practice or as part of a health care team in a clinical setting. Patients with chronic pain may be referred to psychologists by other health care providers. Psychologists may collaborate with other health care professionals to address both the physical and emotional aspects of the patient's pain.
When working with a psychologist, you can expect to discuss your physical and emotional health. The psychologist will ask about the pain you experience, where and when it occurs, and what factors may affect it. In addition, he or she will likely ask you to discuss any worries or stresses, including those related to your pain. You also may be asked to complete a questionnaire that allows you to record your own thoughts and feelings about your pain.
Having a comprehensive understanding of your concerns will help the psychologist begin to develop a treatment plan.
For patients dealing with chronic pain, treatment plans are designed for that particular patient. The plan often involves teaching relaxation techniques, changing old beliefs about pain, building new coping skills and addressing any anxiety or depression that may accompany your pain.
One way to do this is by helping you learn to challenge any unhelpful thoughts you have about pain. A psychologist can help you develop new ways to think about problems and to find solutions. In some cases, distracting yourself from pain is helpful. In other cases, a psychologist can help you develop new ways to think about your pain. The Franklin Pain and Wellness Center works with your primary care physician and collaborates with any other doctors you’re seeing to ensure that you get the best, most comprehensive care possible for your chronic pain. A referral to a phsychologist might be part of your chronic pain management plan to help with treatment and recovery. To schedule and evaluation contact The Franklin Pain and Wellness Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.